Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Let's rejoin. Here's why...

I realise that in my post yesterday, which asked whether or not Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth, I may not have made my own position clear.

What I mean is, I may not have pointed out beneficial reasons as to why Ireland ought to apply to rejoin the Commonwealth. With that being said, I will now outline why I think Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth.

I favour Irish reunification. I don't like living in a divided Ireland and I would like to see the border done away with. I don't forsee it happening in a way which belittles either nationalists or unionists. I don't see it as a moment etched in triumphalism for either side. I see it happening almost like as if it were a formality. I believe we must get to a point where unionist and nationalist cooperation is so strong that the border will simply fade away. I have said before on United Irelander that we must have a United Ireland with the border before we can have a United Ireland without the border. That is my view.

I believe rejoining the Commonwealth helps advance that path. It opens up a new avenue for the people of this island to travel down on. An avenue in which we could unite and acknowledge our appreciation for our undeniable links to Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa and other countries involved in the Commonwealth.

It would be membership of a club in which we merit a role. When Ireland was part of the Commonwealth, Irish politicians worked hard at attaining rights for Commonwealth members. It's a club that contains many friends of ours. And sure, this club is run by the British queen, but what does that matter? Through the Good Friday Agreement, Irish people acknowledged British sovereignty over the North until a referendum which indicates this is no longer the will of the people. British sovereignty involves the Queen as the figurehead of the 'United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland'. If nationalsits can accept and acknowledge that, what have they to fear about a club we would be part of through our own volition?

Deaglan made a good point yesterday saying:

"I don't think Ireland had a choice about being lumped in with the "British family" initially."

Quite right. But there is a choice now. And why not use this 'British family' to help strenghten ties within the Irish family?

Ireland walked away from the Commonwealth. It was a baffling move. The country that claimed to want Irish unity went down the classic Irish republican route - choosing republicanism over reunification. The situation has changed though. Irish republicanism will not be harmed by being part of the Commonwealth as Ireland would not be the only republic there.

Those who favour Irish unity have a choice. Stay out of the Commonwealth and cling to the republicanism upheld in the 26 Irish counties, or, reach out the hand of friendship and show the unionist tradition on this island that the 26 counties of the Irish Republic respects Britishness, acknowledges the British imprint on the Irish identity, and would seek to respect that identiy as part of a 32 county Ireland.

There's the benefits. Where's the problem?


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